Dogmatic liberalism insists that tolerance isn't enough
Loud applause, we are told, greeted the remarks of the foremost Equality Commissar of the Land, Comrade Niall Crowley, at a Dublin rally demanding marriage rights for homosexual couples.
Criticising the Civil Partnership Bill because it did not value diversity, but merely tolerated it, he said: "Tolerance alone is not acceptable, as it is often accompanied by contempt." (Huzzah! Huzzah! Rhubarb! Rhubarb!).
Tolerance alone is not acceptable. There we have it: the illiberal face of dogmatic liberalism, which makes things a little clearer than they were last week. For we are now being told that not merely must the State tolerate diversity, but it must value it, in all its numerous manifestations.
This notion that the State should have emotions, which it expresses in the way it shapes law, is classically ideological: imperialism, communism, fascism -- all of them invested government with the duties and feelings of human beings. They all thought that the primary purpose of government was to enact personalised laws, so that the likes and dislikes of individuals would then become incorporated in the statutes of the land.
Now, I actually don't want a state that "values" anything other than a visible obedience of its laws. Individual politicians might value things, but the State and its laws should be removed from emotions. To be told (to loud cheers) that tolerance is not enough, and the State should value (namely, show affectionate regard for) same-sex marriage, is to move the ratchet quite a good few notches closer to an ideological society. For next, it will not be good enough to conform: more to the point -- just how do I feel? What thoughts do I have that the State might disapprove of? And are these thoughts now against the law?
Two of the people who addressed the rally were a lesbian couple who were introduced just as Mia and Shani. Sorry, girls, only children are introduced by their first names. "Mia" declared that she had had to write to the Department of Justice to "validate" her relationship with Shani before the latter could get a residency permit here. She said that she felt "insulted and demeaned" by this demand.
Did lickul Mia shed a lickul tear at this point? Stamp her lickul foot? Listen, dear, a rudimentary understanding of our immigration laws would reveal that even marriage alone does not secure an unconditional right for a foreigner to live in Ireland. As for same-sex marriages: are you, gentle reader, in favour, with all the legal rights that ensue? You are? Good. So, do you think that married homosexuals should have precisely the same right to adopt children as heterosexual couples?
Because if equal marriage laws are passed, adoption would be an equal "right" of all married couples, homosexual or heterosexual, male or female, to be enforced by the courts.
Do you think that two homosexual men who are married should, as of right, be allowed to adopt children? No, I'm not talking about the nice gay couple, whom we all know and like: I'm talking about a universal law. Do you think such a law should exist? You do? Well, I don't.
Consider Dave the social worker, with all the arbitrary, semi-judicial power at his disposal.
Last year, a single mother in Glasgow, living with her middle-aged parents, was imprisoned on drugs offences. Her parents, naturally, took over minding their grandchild. But then a couple of Daves arrived, and confiscated the child on the grounds that the grandparents smoked. The infant was then given to a couple of male homosexuals in a civil partnership. That is the kind of thing that happens when you combine the vagaries of an uncertain law and its administration by idiots.
As for same-sex marriages, I believe in binding unions, and so I'm inclined to accept a legal "marriage" for homosexual couples, provided if it doesn't confer equal rights to adoption.
But of course, the rights lobby would soon be calling for equality of adoption, to be followed by demands that the Catholic Church should marry homosexuals. Next -- Communion to Muslims! Atheists to give church sermons! Marriage rights for lesbian Jesuits!
Amnesty Ireland has become extremely active in the gay marriage rights campaign. But Amnesty International was specifically set up to help prisoners of conscience, to rescue the tortured and succour the innocent in their prison cells.
Its Irish manifestation has apparently mission-crept into being an advocate for the entire PC agenda. Though hundreds are starving to death in Mugabe's jails, the Congo is darkness personified, Iran is an Islamic tyranny, and unspeakable things are happening in just about every country ending in "-istan", Amnesty Ireland is campaigning for marriage rights for homosexuals.
Well, why not? So, at the next same-sex marriage rally, I expect to see the banners of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association, the Irish Philately Society, both AAs, the Poor Clares, the Honourable Artillery Company, the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Wombats and the Irish Bog Snorkelling Association. For they have every bit as much to do with this issue as Amnesty International.